GM Democracy Hub

GM Democracy Hub

Last Wednesday, Demsoc Manchester hosted the first Greater Manchester Democracy Hub, with The Politics Project. Aiming to identify, map and connect everyone working in the Greater Manchester region to improve democracy in innovative ways, we organised an event for those people to meet, share their work and network. Whilst there is a lot of wonderful work happening in this area, it seems that no one is aware of all of it, and even those with similar plans and ambitions haven’t crossed paths. We wanted to rectify this, as we think that collaboration and…Read more
European Citizens’ Consultations: call for civil society links

European Citizens’ Consultations: call for civil society links

If your organisation would like to be a link, please complete this short form: https://goo.gl/forms/lDzRtYXzAe3urMHq1  The ECC Civil Society Network are seeking expressions of interest from civil society organisations (CSOs) that can function as national links between the core network and the member states. The network aims to make the ongoing conversation around the future of Europe as joint as possible, to support positive and broader engagement in the different consultation approaches available, and to use the consultations to start to build a network of organisations interested in connecting up the European conversation…Read more
Help create a more constructive debate about the shape of Greater Manchester

Help create a more constructive debate about the shape of Greater Manchester

  Deciding what we should build where always seems to stoke intense emotions and conflict. Greater Manchester’s Spatial Framework set out plans for how land could be best used across the city region. The resulting consultation gave voice to a kaleidoscope of different concerns and interests but generated very little in the way of constructive discussion. With a consultation on a new draft currently planned for October, we thought now was a great time to ask how we create better conversations about the future shape of Greater Manchester. You can help us explore…Read more

“City Democracy Incubator” joins the shortlist for Advocate Europe!

Advocate Europe is a challenge to find unconventional and transnational ideas that respond to Europe’s present challenges, covering different fields such as civic education, arts and culture, social innovation and advocacy. The initiative is realised by MitOst and Liquid Democracy, funded by Stiftung Mercator. This year 475 ideas were submitted from 42 countries, with 31 of those ideas selected for a shortlist. The shortlisted ideas are each in with a chance of securing grants of up to €50,000 and mentoring to implement their ideas – and we’re delighted to share that the idea…Read more
Help us research how the EU is trying to open up, and how this can be supported

Help us research how the EU is trying to open up, and how this can be supported

We are trying to find out what initiatives are already happening to build greater accountability, participation, and transparency into the work of the EU. We also want to find who the people are within EU institutions that are working on these initiatives, and driving this change. We want to speak to these people about how this kind of work can be better supported – is there a way that learning and progress can be better shared, and innovators within and outside the institutions better linked up? This is where you may be able…Read more
Have people in Northern Ireland given up on democracy?

Have people in Northern Ireland given up on democracy?

What do people in Northern Ireland think of democracy? Have they become downheartened, disappointed, disillusioned? If the crowds that came for Democracy Day in Belfast last month are anything to go by, it’s clear there’s a lot of enthusiasm and energy for democracy – and plenty of ideas for how to fix it!   Coincidentally meeting as Stormont talks were coming to a close leaving Northern Ireland in somewhat of a political deadlock, it was perhaps a fitting time to be talking about the health of democracy in Northern Ireland!   We spent the day exploring…Read more
Helping parliaments get closer to the people they represent

Helping parliaments get closer to the people they represent

By Andy Williamson A key challenge for those trying to engage a broader public in parliamentary democracy is that the processes often appear closed and opaque (because, often, they are). The language is off-putting, the procedures cumbersome and unfriendly, and it’s hard to see what’s going on. It can be hard to see any value in taking part. Digital can’t fix thefirst problem (though it can help), it should improve the second (otherwise it’s pointless) and it can significantly impact on the final two. The internet has given us the opportunity for a genuine…Read more
How do we take back control?

How do we take back control?

  Digital democracy & democratic deficit in the EU The Democratic Society are working on a project to find out how people would like to communicate ideas directly to the institutions of the European Union. It's about citizens feeding in to policy-making and having a say more than just once every five years in the European elections. The UK's role in this is significant as Brexit highlighted a common perception that there is a lack of democracy, that people in Britain have ‘lost control’ over EU policy making. we will be hosting an online…Read more
How effective is the Open Government Partnership? Should the EU get involved?

How effective is the Open Government Partnership? Should the EU get involved?

The OGP is a partnership between national governments and the wider public, working together to develop ways of increasing public participation in government and make government more transparent and accountable. The UK has been involved since 2011, and many other countries in Europe and around the world are too.   So, if this partnership is doing good work, and with the EU facing challenges, perhaps it’s time the EU got involved? Currently you have to be a nation state to join the open government partnership, but there may be ways of it getting…Read more
Religion, Migration, Power and Money

Religion, Migration, Power and Money

The tale of two Athens hotels, the 5-star and the refugee camp. Religion, Migration, Power and Money was the title of last month's Athens Democracy Forum. The conference was sponsored by some Big Names, it attracted important people to come and speak, including the President of Greece, op-ed columnists at the New York Times, the Mayor of Athens, a top British QC and the European Commissioner for migration, among others. And they all had one thing in common: they were all grey-haired white men[1]. At this beautifully organised three-day conference, it was the white…Read more
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